Published on October 6, 2015
Good things come to those who wait, so the saying goes. The journey to launch Pathstones by Phoebe, the new continuing care at home (CCAH) program that officially began this summer, exemplifies this classic phrase. The planning process for Pathstones started in 2012, and the application for licensure was sent in May 2014. After 14 months of patiently waiting, the Lehigh Valley region’s first CCAH program opened its doors to the public in July.
According to Melanie Kohler, Executive Director of Pathstones by Phoebe, the program is an extension of Phoebe’s longstanding mission to serve the needs of older adults. “Pathstones allows Phoebe to serve the broader community in new ways,” says Kohler. “We can provide those living beyond our traditional campus walls with continuing, high-quality care in the comfort of their homes.” Members also feel comfort and peace of mind because they have a plan and professional support to handle unanticipated health needs that might otherwise result in a crisis situation. Members can rest assured knowing they have Pathstones staff members ready to assist them for the rest of their lives.
Pathstones offers personalized wellness coordination and the services of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in the comfort and security of a member’s home. Members partner with a dedicated Wellness Coordinator, and can request services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This provides peace of mind; members and their families will always have a resource and an advocate focused on ensuring that individual care needs are met. Whether or not a member has relatives living close by, Pathstones support relieves family of the worry of burdening others, and allows loved ones to spend time focused on their relative, not the complications of the health care system. Cindy Moser, Membership Coordinator for Pathstones, notes, “We can be the ‘local family’ and advocate for our members, following the plans they have developed with their Wellness Coordinator.”
The Wellness Coordinator will help members proactively navigate current or emerging needs like diet and nutrition, home safety, and medication evaluations. If desired, cooking, technology, and housekeeping assistance can also be arranged. As more care is needed, comprehensive services include care coordination, home maintenance, companionship, referral and emergency response services, transportation for necessary medical appointments, physical therapy, and medication management.
Health services are administered by Phoebe-trained staff, including aides, therapists, nurses, and care coordinators. Short term, higher-level care is also available after an injury or surgery, and once the member has recovered, he or she may return home at the prior level of independence. If needed, nursing care can be provided in-home up to 24 hours a day. Membership even covers a change in residence to a personal care or a skilled nursing facility, should a member make the decision to move—even if the facility is out of the area.
Like a traditional CCRC, Pathstones members pay a one-time entrance fee and monthly membership fees. Fees depend on the applicant’s age and the plan selected. They cover the cost of future services, but are significantly lower than the rates at a traditional CCRC. Amidst rising long-term care insurance premiums and restrictive policies, “Pathstones is a great complement or alternative to long term care insurance. Unlike long term care insurance, however, Pathstones members can receive services as soon as they are needed and for as long as they are needed,” according to Kohler.
Another great advantage, says Moser, is that “as a member’s needs change and more services are required, the monthly cost doesn’t increase as a result. This makes it easier for members to budget for their long term care needs.”
Pathstones by Phoebe serves members across Lehigh, Berks, Northampton, and Upper Bucks counties. For more information on the many benefits of membership, to RSVP to an informational seminar, or to be placed on the Pathstones mailing list, please email [email protected], call 610-794-6700, or visit pathstonesbyphoebe.org.